Dutch Appeals Court Says State Partially Liable In 300 Srebrenica Deaths


The Netherlands is partly liable for the deaths of 300 Muslims killed in the Srebrenica massacre, a court has today confirmed.

On July 13, 1995, Dutch peacekeepers bowed to pressure from Bosnian Serb forces commanded by General Ratko Mladic, and forced thousands of Muslims out of their fenced-off compound where they had sought refuge.

The Hague Appeals Court judge Gepke Dulek ruled that Dutch soldiers "deprived 300 Bosnian men of the chance of survival" by taking them out of the United Nations military camp.

The Muslims seeking shelter were among about 8,000 people killed in the massacre, which the UN International Court for Justice, in a 2007 verdict, ruled a genocide.

Their lawyer Michael Ruperti told a television talk show on Monday night the men are campaigning for a "symbolic" €22,000 each - or €1,000 for every year since the Srebrenica massacre took place.

Karremans was the commander of Dutch peacekeepers at Srebrenica.

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They were killed after Bosnian Serbs attack on a UN-protected base.

But overwhelmed they first shut the gates to new arrivals, and then allowed the Bosnian Serbs to evacuate the refugees.

Tuesday's ruling also found that the Dutch state is liable for some 30 percent of any damages awarded, as it was uncertain whether the men would have survived had they stayed inside the compound.

The court rejected an appeal from relatives of other Srebrenica victims, who argued the Dutch government should be held responsible for the protection of thousands more Muslims who had gathered outside the base.

Munira Subasic, who leads an organization called the Mothers of Srebrenica that brought the case, stood up and waved her finger at the judge after the ruling, saying "this is a huge injustice". Of course we would have hoped for more, and I think we had a good case'. The Hague Appeals Court upheld a decision from 2014 that ordered the Dutch state to compensate families of the victims.

The bodies from the Srebrenica massacre were buried in hastily made mass graves, which were later bulldozed and scattered among other burial sites in an attempt to hide the evidence.